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Tomtits Harvest Reflection
For #EatNZKaitaki Brit Morison at Tomtit Farm in the Waikato, it's been a tough growing season. As part of this HARVEST series she's shared her reflections on the year and looks ahead with gratitude.
Today (21st of March) is the Autumn equinox in New Zealand, a time of balance and reflection. It's a time to acknowledge the equal length of day and night and to embrace the shifting of seasons as the leaves begin to change colours and the days grow shorter.
At Tomtit Farm we begin to breathe a sigh of relief as we prepare to close the book on this somewhat hard season of growing. At this time of year we usually have fields overflowing with an abundance of fresh produce, from juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers to plump pumpkins and sweet kūmara. It is usually a time to revel in the harvest of the land and to give thanks for the gifts that Papatūānuku has bestowed upon us.
But this year we find ourselves in a place where the crops look tired and the harvest is not as plentiful as usual due to the challenges of the unpredictable weather this season. From a late season crippling frost, to too much rain, not enough sunshine hours, damaging winds and multiple floods in the Waikato, all of these pose a threat to the delicate balance of the growing cycle.
As a small-scale farm we are hugely affected by these unpredictable weather patterns and the effects of climate change. With a high dependence on natural resources, we must be resilient and learn to pivot our business to adapt to changing circumstances. As the season throws curve balls we continue to come up with creative ways to keep our heads high and stick to what we know and love best, which is growing, caring for our soils, and making food available to our community.
Despite these challenges, we give thanks for the produce that has been harvested, appreciating that we are very lucky to have a harvest and are able to share kai with our community. Reflecting on the season that has passed is a nice way to connect Papatūānuku and to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that went into the harvest.
Words and photos by Brittany Morison @tomtitfarm